October 28, 2008
Juliet Papa-1010 Wins-New York, NY
Marty Tankleff wrote 50,000 letters during his 17 years behind bars proclaiming his innocence in the murder of his parents.
"I don't want to have to hear another person say I wrote 50,000 letters to get out of prison," Tankleff said.
Tankleff served 17 years in prison for the 1988 murder of his parents before he was exonerated in 2008 based on evidence secured by investigator Jay Salpeter.
Tankleff and Salpeter are now part of the Fortress Innocence Project -- the first national firm focused exclusively on investigating wrongful convictions. The pair along with others, including Ruben "Hurricane" Carter (pictured), announced the formation of the firm Monday.
"Hurricane" Carter did 20 years and faced execution before he was released and now offers hope.
"The truth will live on...because the truth is invincible," Carter said.
The organization is also seeking legislative help in monitoring law enforcement agencies and improving their practices.